Is it just us or is everything getting a lot more expensive? From student accommodation and bills through to groceries and getting back home at the end of term, savings, student loans and maintenance grants not stretching as far as they used to.
What to do about it? Although it might sound a little boring, now is the time to get serious about your finances (we promise you won’t regret it!).
Here are our top 5 tips for feeling good about your money whilst at university.
1. Take advantage of all the discounts available for students
If you look hard enough, you can get discounts on just about anything. I would make sure to get a railcard, sign up to get a student oyster card, make the most of your Totum (NUS) card and sign up for free prescriptions (every little helps!).
Brands love students because they see you as a long-term loyal consumer with (hopefully) lots of disposable income. Our advice – take advantage! UNiDAYS and other sites are brilliant places to grab a discount.
2. Use your bank to set a budget
Mobile banking is pretty smart these days. Whether you use Revolut, Monzo or a more traditional bank, all apps have budget setters and spending targets. Use these features to feel good about yourself at the end of the month.
3. Go cheap on the basics
There are some things you should spend money on (the things that are important to you), and there are others that you should look to go cheap. Don’t get put off by discount shops and cheap supermarkets – shopping at these places will give you the ability to spend money on what you really want.
4. Get some money coming in
We would always recommend that you focus on your studies – the difference between a 2:2 and a 2:1 might mean £100,000’s extra income throughout your life. That is not to say that you shouldn’t start a side hustle.
Have a skill? Check out websites like Fiverr, sell stuff you don’t want on Ebay or Vinted, take online paid surveys, or make something and sell it on Etsy! Whatever you do, don’t think that you can support an extravagant lifestyle by trading online – this usually ends in tears!
5. Start investing!
We really like apps like Moneybox, which round up your purchases (e.g., from £2.70 to £3 for a coffee) and invest the difference. This might not seem like a great deal of money, but the beauty is that you don’t really realise that it is not there, and all the while your investment pot is growing, powered by the miracle of compounding.
It is never too early to start investing – your future self will be eternally thankful!